Sunday, July 30, 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return 3x11 Recap: "Part 11: There’s Fire Where You Are Going" (Cooper Brings A Pie To A Gunfight) [Contributor: Erin Allen]


"Part 11: There’s Fire Where You Are Going"
Original Airdate: July 23, 2017

Part 11 of The Return is a return to the mood of the original. The whole episode from start to finish really felt in line with the best episodes on the first run of the series. From wormholes in the sky to cherry pie, this episode had me on the edge of my seat.

We learn some very important things in the first ten minutes. Miriam is alive! Shelly’s last name is Briggs! Gersten Hayward is having an affair with Steven! All of this is shown in a frenetic, Lynchian, horror movie-style way. Innocent kids playing catch come across Miriam. Tense music plays while Becky is on screen. And, wow, that blood-curdling, rage scream! Way to get the adrenaline pumping from the get-go.

Amanda Seyfried radiates nervous energy as Becky in these first scenes. She maintains this intensity remarkably well; her manic behavior is enthralling. Madchen Amick’s reaction as Shelly complements that emotion. The car stunt is completely unexpected, but feels like an organic progression for the situation. Distraught Shelly calls Norma for advice. I feel like she knows the answer is to call Bobby, but she needs to hear it from Norma. Shelly may have grown up a lot in the past 25 years, but it looks like she uses Norma’s calm rationale as a crutch.

She is also back to dating bad boys. Her and Bobby aren’t together anymore, but they are the parents of Becky, and they seem to get along well. It is heartbreaking to see Bobby sad and Shelly happy with Red, but I got such an overwhelming sense in their family scene together that things are going to be okay for them. Maybe I’m having a Major Briggs premonition or something.

After Shelly comes back in, shots are fired into the Double-R, and what follows is so bizarre. A woman yells at a man about the gun in their car. The man and the boy are unaffected by whatever took place and the incessant honking of the car behind them. Bobby tries to take control of the odd situation, and lets Jesse take over as he goes to talk to the source of the honking. The old woman is hysterical, screaming about being late, when a kid in the passenger seat sort of floats up and towards Bobby. It was like the motion of a vampire rising out of its coffin. The kid is sick and puking, and Bobby just stares in confused wonder. Dana Ashbrook is consistently phenomenal. He was great as young Bobby Briggs on the original, and he has really developed that character even after so many years of not inhabiting him.

I don’t even know what to think of this scene. It could be that it’s all a strange, unrelated, little nightmare, or it could be that it’s vital to the mythology at play.

As to that mythology, there are some major developments in the FBI’s investigation. Hastings takes Gordon, Albert, Diane, and Det. Macklay to the site where he met Major Briggs. Like so much that goes on in Twin Peaks, I have a hard time describing what takes place there. Woodsmen prowl around the area. A portal opens in the sky. Albert saves Gordon from an uncertain fate. Ruth Davenport’s headless body is found. And as for Hastings, well, Gordon said it best: “He’s dead.”

Hawk and Frank are following their own leads. Hawk shows Frank a map that he has. “This map is very old, but it’s always correct. It’s a living thing.” On the map are some symbols we’ve seen before, including some on the piece of paper in the metal tube. The dates on that paper can be read in the stars on the map, as well. Hawk warns Frank that he doesn’t ever want to know about the black symbol that was on Mr. C’s playing card. There are black corn crops which signify death (and probably garmonbozia), and paired with the fire symbol means black fire. The Log Lady calls and tells Hawk, “There’s fire where you are going.”

The last portion of Part 11 focuses on Cooper/Dougie and the Mitchum Brothers. Rodney and Bradley are set to kill him, but there are forces at work that help prevent that. Cooper, out of it as he may be, has exposed the fraud of the arson claim that was orchestrated by Anthony care of Mr. Todd and Mr. C. Bushnell and Lucky 7 Insurance is rewarding the brothers with their $30 million settlement. Cooper is to bring them the check to the meeting at which they plan on offing him.

That isn’t the only thing that helps keep him alive. MIKE from the Black Lodge urges him to bring a cherry pie with him. Bradley had a dream the night before that indicated if Douglas Jones showed up with this one certain item, it meant that he was not their enemy. That item was a cherry pie. The skeptical Rodney has Bradley pat him down, and that is how they discover the check.

They take Cooper out to celebrate. He is triggered several times — by the pie, by the use of “damn good” to describe it, and by some musical notes played on the piano. There are moments in this scene where Cooper looks exactly like he did 25 years ago. This, combined with his wistfulness, is truly moving, not to mention the emotional reunion of Lady Slot-Addict and Mr. Jackpots. Cooper is still out here saving lives even in his condition.

Part 11 is visually stunning with nostalgic and poignant moments, heart-pumping intensity, and even some laughs. I think it’s safe to say it will be on a lot top episode lists of Twin Peaks: The Return.

Stray Observations:
  • Boy, was I nervous when that kind ran out into the street. 
  • Can we get back to the fact that Miriam is alive, please?
  • Carl was really putting off Bookhouse Boy vibes. 
  • Lynch’s delivery of “He’s dead” is hilarious.
  • Jesse is turning out to be an intriguing character. “Are you interested in seeing my new car?
  • “The policeman’s dream.” This throwback to Cooper saying it makes me emotional. Also, the involuntary shaking hand is a callback.
  • I would watch a spin-off series about Lady Slot-Addict.
  • The episode from the original series that had Gersten Hayward played by Alicia Witt ended on her playing the piano while the credits rolled. This was a departure back then. On The Return, the episodes have ended many different ways, but this one with Gersten ends with someone playing the piano. 
  • Angelo Badalamenti’s “Heartbreaking” is the piece that ends the episode. It is beautiful, and some notes are a bit reminiscent of “Laura’s Theme.”


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